‘Change the World’ Companies Integrate Social Impact with Business Strategy
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Fortune magazine has brought out its 2017 ‘Change the World’ list to recognize large companies that are making a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. The list identifies companies based on three factors: measurable social impact, business results, and degree of innovation.
One of the top names in Fortune’s Change the World list of companies is Unilever, which attracts strong talent from around the world. According to CEO Paul Polman, about 60 percent of those who apply for jobs at the company every year are attracted by the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
The Sustainable Living Plan is Unilever’s blueprint for growing the business while reducing waste, water, and energy use, sourcing raw materials in a smarter way, helping local farmers, and striving for other earth-friendly goals. The company finds a compelling investment proposition behind the Sustainability Plan.
According to Polman, whether it is in terms of employee attraction, corporate image, education or engagement, the investment in sustainability pays back. Unilever’s business model of longer-term-compounded value creation by focusing on multiple stakeholders also has the backing of the board of directors and the senior management.
The Fortune study found that companies that are committed to doing business with a larger social purpose often do well even in their actual business performance. The 56 companies on its 2017 Change the World list are tackling social problems, both obvious and not-so-obvious.
These companies range from Accenture, which is using data to reduce E.R. visits, to DSM, a Dutch life sciences company, that is fighting greenhouse gas emissions from a notorious source: cow flatulence. They include IBM, which is helping urban high schools close the STEM skills gap, and 23andMe, which is empowering consumers to learn about their genetic risks – and the lifestyle choices they can make, in some cases, to lower them.
The study highlights JPMorgan Chase’s bold and urgent campaign to revive one of America’s iconic industrial cities and Levi Strauss’s effort to make life better for some of the 300,000 garment workers who make its jeans. It also includes the views of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who shares his philosophy on why the iPhone and its ecosystem of apps are a potent force for good.
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